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+ servings
boozy king cake

Boozy King Cake

This boozy king cake is rich, spiced, and citrusy. It is king of all cakes since it has a rich brown sugar Grand Marnier filling, crushed pecans, and a Bailey’s glaze that will inevitably make you go back for another slice!

Servings 12


King Cake Dough

  • 3 cups AP Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg if using freshly grated, go up to 1/4 teaspoon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter melted and cooled
  • 4 large egg yolks reserve whites for another ritzy recipe!
  • 3/4 cup whole milk warm (105-110 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast

Grand Marnier Filling

Bailey's Glaze

  • 1.5 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk if needed to thin glaze out.
  • Gold, Purple, Green Sanding Sugars or Sprinkles



  1. irst, you need to proof your yeast. Since I use my stand mixer to knead this boozy king cake, I sprinkled the yeast right into the bowl of the stand mixer. Warm up your milk to between 105-110 degrees.

    While your yeast proofs for 5 minutes, work on melting the butter and in a separate bowl, whisking up your yolks. 

    For this king cake, I mixed up my flour with the salt, lemon zest, spices, and brown sugar in a separate bowl. But its a Mardi Gras, so feel free to let loose and throw all the ingredients in at once!

    Use a wooden spoon to mix this to a shaggy dough. You may need to butter up your hands and shape the dough to a ball before turning it over to the mixer.

    Then let the mixer knead the king cake dough for about 5 minutes using speed 8.

    Meanwhile, butted up a large bowl. Remove the dough ball and place inside. Cover loosely with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Grand Marnier Filling

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Use the back of your measuring spoon to finely crush up pecans. Then toast on a baking sheet for a few minutes until toasty and aromatic. Remove to a bowl and cool.

    Meanwhile, In a bowl, mix softened butter with brown sugar and flour until a paste forms. Then add spices and grand Marnier.

    Get your risen dough and gently punch it down. Then gather the soft and billowy dough onto a floured surface.

    Roll it into a long rectangle. I made it 11 x 20 in order to shape it into a ring that still had a hole in the middle and was leaner than traditionally fatter cinnamon rolls.

    Take the paste and spread it on, careful to leave a half inch free at the long seams to prevent leaking. Sprinkle on crushed pecan bits.

    Next, tightly roll it up. Form it into a ring shape, pinching the ends together.

    Then put a piece of parchment onto that cooled baking sheet and put the king cake onto it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise another 20-30 minutes.

    Then brush with some egg wash or a bit of buttermilk. *Egg wash isn't necessary, but it will give the king cake a shiny and golden crust. Bake approximately 30-40 minutes.

    Allow to Cool.

Bailey's Glaze

  1. Once your boozy king cake has cooled, make the Bailey’s glaze by whisking powdered sugar with Baileys. If the glaze is too thick, thin it down to desired consistency with whole milk or buttermilk.

    Then cut a slit in the spot of the king cake you want to hide the baby and slide inside. Next, drizzle the glaze over the whole cake.

    Lastly, take your gold, purple, and green sanding sugars and sprinkle each color beside the other in any order you want.